Study: Round of golf can provide same health benefits as vigorous cycling

Nearly a month after forced spending cuts prompted some Republicans to call on President Barack Obama to cease his weekend golf outings, the commander-in-chief returned to the links.(Credit: CNN)

Nearly a month after forced spending cuts prompted some Republicans to call on President Barack Obama to cease his weekend golf outings, the commander-in-chief returned to the links.(Credit: CNN)

DENVER — New research shows hitting the links for a round of golf can provide the same health benefits as cycling for 100 miles.

That’s great news for many who are feeling guilty about not being able to maintain intense exercise programs.

The study, published in the British Medical Journal, suggests that intense exercise that goes on for hours doesn’t yield the health benefits many believe it does.

In fact, researchers say excess exercise, like running more than 20 miles per week, can cause injury over time and even initiate premature aging.

Doctors say health benefits can level off after an hour of exercise so it’s best to break up your workout.

Dr. Ryan Tuchscherer of the Cherry Creek Spine and Sport Clinic told FOX31 Denver, “You can run five times (a week) 30 minutes each time, that’s a better form of exercise and better on our joints and our muscles.”

The study is based on the mortality records of nearly 10,000  athletes who competed in the Olympic Games between 1896 and 1936.

It found that engaging in extended cycling and rowing had no added survival benefit compared with playing golf or cricket.

Researchers say the study isn’t designed to stir fear about marathons and triathlons and doctors say it certainly should not be used as an excuse to adopt a more sedentary lifestyle.

“That’s a poor attitude. If we’re sitting on our couch, in our chair we’re not exercising, we’re going to have some issues,” Tuchscherer said.

Those could include obesity, heart problems and a shortened life span. So there is great motivation for finding a moderate exercise plan that works for you, and sticking to it.

For more information on safe exercise and injury treatment and prevention visit www. CherryCreekSpine.com